3 Memoirs that DC Actually Needs

Claire Handscombe

With the recent news that Prince Harry is writing a memoir -- or rather, having a memoir ghostwriten -- and what's likely to be an influx of former Trump staffers penning their own slant on the last few years, I want to make some suggestions for memoirs I would actually be excited to read -- and to handsell at East City Bookshop, all of them with a DC feel. There's probably lots of reasons why they can't happen, or not yet, but a girl can dream!

Malia and Sasha Obama

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I am so, so curious about what it’s like to grow up in the White House, and there’s no-one I’d rather have tell me about it than the Obama daughters, since our years in DC have overlapped and I feel a kinship with them. Did their dad's jokes ever get old? Was their mom as strict as she sometimes seemed, making them play sports and eat healthy food and make their own beds when an army of staff would have gladly done it for them? What did they get up to that their parents never found out about, or is it impossible to keep secrets when you've got Secret Service agents trailing you everywhere? We want answers. Or at least, I do.

Bradley Whitford


Little-known fact outside the deepest recesses of the West Wing fandom: Bradley Whitford, as well as playing Josh Lyman, also wrote a couple of episodes, one in Season Six and one in Season Seven. They happen coincidentally (or not) to be two of my favourite post-Sorkin episodes. He’s smart and well-read and a great writer. And who, especially in DC, doesn’t want as much behind-the-scenes West Wing geekery as they can get?

Aaron Sorkin

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In a town full of avid West Wing fans -- a town that many people came to live in because of The West Wing -- I can't be the only one who wants to know everything about how Aaron Sokin came to be such a great writer. I'm so curious about the Sorkinisms, as to whether the themes that come up again and again are actually themes from his own life.

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Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a monthly show about news and views from UK books and publishing; the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan; and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives.

Washington, DC

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